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Finally: Venom VB-303 v1.00

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

User avatar
antto
KVRAF
 
2289 posts since 4 Sep, 2006, from 127.0.0.1

Postby antto; Thu May 23, 2013 4:54 am

if roland *did* release it a few years later with a midi mode like you say - i strongly, strongly believe things would have turned much differently:
- most people would use it as a midi module and never bother reading the ~90 pages of manual (which is nice btw)
- more units might have been produced
- acid music as you know it wouldn't have happened or at least wouldn't have sounded the way it did
- 2nd-hand prices now wouldn't have been that high

yeah, it surely is possible to "learn" those rules which the sequencer forces on the synth, and apply them when you sequence via a piano-roll in your DAW
i certainly can, i'm sure there are other people who can too
but:
- the majority of people don't know, nor care to know, as they think the special sound comes immediately, from the special filter
- the piano-roll is too different

so if you know exactly what pattern you wanna program, and you know these "rules" - sure you can use the piano-roll
however, once you want to modify this pattern or experiment (hunting for happy accidents) you can see how the piano-roll becomes a pain
normal people would mess up the notes and break those rules and end up with something that doesn't sound like a 303 pattern

that's exactly where the sequencer comes to the rescue
it makes it easy to experiment with the patterns without breaking the rules, nor forcing you to understand them.. you only have to learn how to use it, just like you have to learn your DAW's sequencer

i wouldn't say VB-303 is the best soundwise, as it sounds more like my x0xb0x than a TB-303
maybe it's the best in the freeware world
the current commercial 303 emulations were made before VB-303, and CPU usage was a strong concern then (users always want great sound at near-zero cpu usage)
now i see recently a few commercial synths (not 303-related) (looking at KVR people's comments here) are finally pushing, daring to use more CPU than most people expected but bring great sound with it, that's very good, better oscillators, better filters, better modulation, better sound

so back to 303s.. this is not the end of the horizon, there are new things to come pretty soon :wink:
It doesn't matter how it sounds..
..as long as it has BASS and it's LOUD!

irc.freenode.net >>> #kvr
User avatar
antto
KVRAF
 
2289 posts since 4 Sep, 2006, from 127.0.0.1

Postby antto; Thu May 23, 2013 4:56 am

actually i'm not sure they would have made this synth at all if there was MIDI already
It doesn't matter how it sounds..
..as long as it has BASS and it's LOUD!

irc.freenode.net >>> #kvr
Syntilla
KVRist
 
204 posts since 29 Nov, 2012, from Robin Hood country

Postby Syntilla; Thu May 23, 2013 5:40 am

antto wrote:i should have disabled midiplay mode completely
Just what I was thinking.

And ... near zero interest?
Try moving your Donate button to the download page where people can see it (instead of hiding it under the cat).
Might give you an idea just how much real interest there is.
there are none so blind as those who cannot see
User avatar
tomtoo
KVRian
 
753 posts since 19 Mar, 2011

Postby tomtoo; Thu May 23, 2013 5:40 am

Hallo Antto ,

first i like to thank you for your plugin !

I think you opinion that you cant seperate the 303 sequencer from the soundgenerator is absolutly right.

But !
:wink:

Iam not happy to program the sequencer over a midi-keyboard.

Iam not a genius but i not see why it should not be possible to program it over the gui ?

:shrug:
cytospur
KVRian
 
737 posts since 25 Jun, 2002, from London, UK

Postby cytospur; Thu May 23, 2013 5:53 am

Syntilla wrote:
antto wrote:i should have disabled midiplay mode completely
Just what I was thinking.

And ... near zero interest?
Try moving your Donate button to the download page where people can see it (instead of hiding it under the cat).
Might give you an idea just how much real interest there is.


+1
Algorithmic tunes: http://snd.sc/o15cKD

DUNE soundbank: http://markholt.moonfruit.com/

Free saturation/distortion VST: https://www.box.com/shared/zdgyouov21
rv0
KVRist
 
161 posts since 15 Jun, 2009

Postby rv0; Thu May 23, 2013 6:03 am

Syntilla wrote:And ... near zero interest?
Try moving your Donate button to the download page where people can see it (instead of hiding it under the cat).
Might give you an idea just how much real interest there is.


+2
Last edited by rv0 on Thu May 23, 2013 6:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Halma
KVRian
 
891 posts since 9 Apr, 2012

Postby Halma; Thu May 23, 2013 6:04 am

tomtoo wrote:...
Iam not a genius but i not see why it should not be possible to program it over the gui ?

:shrug:


Well, I guess one reason is that you can't push multiple buttons at once with your mouse & keyboard. But that's only guessing.

I can only recommend everybody learning the sequencer mode. It's so damn fast and fun.

You could use a 303 pattern chart for your first compositions. With that its pretty damn easy to program your vb. If you do it one by one it works like a charm and becomes second nature after a while.

First set your pattern length. After that all timesettings (gate/tie/rest) until pattern ends. Finally start from the beginning again and program all notes with all accents, slides, up & downs. If you did everything right with your time settings the sequencer will ignore "rested" steps so you could concentrate on programig the right notes.

You have to memorize only a hand full of keys and their position in the upper octave and when to press them (that's the art, pressing the right buttons atthe right time).

After that you are ready to tweak your knobs.

Is it easy? No.
Ist it frustrating? Maybe.
Is it worth it? Hell yeah!

Cheers,
Sebastian
User avatar
antto
KVRAF
 
2289 posts since 4 Sep, 2006, from 127.0.0.1

Postby antto; Thu May 23, 2013 6:34 am

tomtoo wrote:Iam not happy to program the sequencer over a midi-keyboard.

i don't have a convenient way to put my huge 10kg midi keyboard in front of my monitor, so i use the DAW's virtual midi keyboard instead
also, when you program patterns/tracks - you can click the buttons with the mouse too, and use button+mouse for when a combo is required

Iam not a genius but i not see why it should not be possible to program it over the gui ?

currently, there are only pattern write/play and track write/play modes which are supposed to be close to the original 303 sequencer interface
they require button combos, there's no easy way to be able to press multiple buttons at the same time on a VST plugin

however, there are empty positions on the MODE switch.. and as i said, an alternative pattern sequencing mode was supposed to be implemented there
a mode which won't require using button combos, and thus won't require using the button mapping
it will be something similar to the beta version - press NEXT, edit the step, press NEXT..
It doesn't matter how it sounds..
..as long as it has BASS and it's LOUD!

irc.freenode.net >>> #kvr
User avatar
Halma
KVRian
 
891 posts since 9 Apr, 2012

Postby Halma; Thu May 23, 2013 6:54 am

antto wrote:i don't have a convenient way to put my huge 10kg midi keyboard in front of my monitor,...


I have a KORG DSS-1 which is more than 120cm long and weights more than 20kg. Glad I am not a pro musician who has to travel with his gear. xD But I love it so I am trying to find my way on my desk. :)
iamyourfather
KVRist
 
274 posts since 7 Aug, 2010, from London, UK

Postby iamyourfather; Thu May 23, 2013 8:15 am

antto wrote:iamyourfather: if you want to start the sequencer immediately (at the beginning of the timeline) - that won't quite work
like in the real world, you have to "prepare" before you hit the RUN button
simply use an empty bar in the timeline of your track where you put the needed preparation (switching the BANK, pressing the pattern slot and so on)
if you're using track mode - this is where you'd press BAR RESET


YEP.. I get that with other Vsts on occasion. I also think reaper itself has some midi timing issues, the forums have more than a few threads about it. I will move my midi clips a bar in from the start, but I think any further timing uncertainty is coming from reaper itself, which I can probably sort myself or just swith to ableton like I have been meaning to do for a while now anyway.

antto wrote:22 pages - because people were interested at first
till they figured it gives less than it requires from them
i understand that most people are only interested in the sound alone
but as i've already said before, i think half of "the 303 sound" comes from the fact that there is something controlling the synth according to some strict rules
otherwise i don't see why you'd really want to have a brainless (midi-module) 303 synth, you could use something more powerful then, with more synthesis features (that's my own opinion here)

i made a mistake.. i should have disabled midiplay mode completely
if those people who spent time figuring out how to enter the code spend that time to learn how to use the sequencer - maybe they were gonna understand why the piano-roll in your DAW is not ideal for sequencing 303 lines


IDK it must be a little frustrating spending time developing the sequencer only to have people bypass it for instant gratification. However Rather than just disable it entirely I would just enable it with no locking code, let people have at it and then I bet at least some would start using the sequencer once they'd got past the initial excitement of making a quick pattern or two in the piano roll. At the very least you wouldn't have to listen to people moan about it and some of those would eventually start to use it as it became apparent how much better sequencer lines sounded than piano roll lines.

I'm sure all developers get this a bit :D
iamyourfather
KVRist
 
274 posts since 7 Aug, 2010, from London, UK

Postby iamyourfather; Thu May 23, 2013 8:23 am

antto wrote:if roland *did* release it a few years later with a midi mode like you say - i strongly, strongly believe things would have turned much differently:
- most people would use it as a midi module and never bother reading the ~90 pages of manual (which is nice btw)
- more units might have been produced
- acid music as you know it wouldn't have happened or at least wouldn't have sounded the way it did
- 2nd-hand prices now wouldn't have been that high

yeah, it surely is possible to "learn" those rules which the sequencer forces on the synth, and apply them when you sequence via a piano-roll in your DAW
i certainly can, i'm sure there are other people who can too
but:
- the majority of people don't know, nor care to know, as they think the special sound comes immediately, from the special filter
- the piano-roll is too different

so if you know exactly what pattern you wanna program, and you know these "rules" - sure you can use the piano-roll
however, once you want to modify this pattern or experiment (hunting for happy accidents) you can see how the piano-roll becomes a pain
normal people would mess up the notes and break those rules and end up with something that doesn't sound like a 303 pattern

that's exactly where the sequencer comes to the rescue
it makes it easy to experiment with the patterns without breaking the rules, nor forcing you to understand them.. you only have to learn how to use it, just like you have to learn your DAW's sequencer

i wouldn't say VB-303 is the best soundwise, as it sounds more like my x0xb0x than a TB-303
maybe it's the best in the freeware world
the current commercial 303 emulations were made before VB-303, and CPU usage was a strong concern then (users always want great sound at near-zero cpu usage)
now i see recently a few commercial synths (not 303-related) (looking at KVR people's comments here) are finally pushing, daring to use more CPU than most people expected but bring great sound with it, that's very good, better oscillators, better filters, better modulation, better sound

so back to 303s.. this is not the end of the horizon, there are new things to come pretty soon :wink:


I agree with that first paragraph... things would have been different, but it didn't happen and I'd just let people have midiplay to shut them up lol.

Makes no difference to me of course, I use the sequencer, I'm happier using the sequencer, the sequencer sounds better. Other people will come around to that, it's just a case of whether you think letting them have midiplay will help or hinder that. I think it will help as it's better to have people using the vst and then educate them further, rather than have them run away at the start because the sequencer scared them. (of course I am a naive optimist)

If I get time over the weekend maybe I should post a couple of sequencer vs piano roll examples, people need to hear the difference.
iamyourfather
KVRist
 
274 posts since 7 Aug, 2010, from London, UK

Postby iamyourfather; Thu May 23, 2013 8:25 am

Syntilla wrote:
antto wrote:i should have disabled midiplay mode completely
Just what I was thinking.

And ... near zero interest?
Try moving your Donate button to the download page where people can see it (instead of hiding it under the cat).
Might give you an idea just how much real interest there is.


There's a donate button ?

SRSLY... move it where people can see it. *goes to find donate button*

EDIT : Done. That button should be exactly next to the download link
User avatar
antto
KVRAF
 
2289 posts since 4 Sep, 2006, from 127.0.0.1

Postby antto; Thu May 23, 2013 8:45 am

well.. the commercial 303 emulations.. they have both internal sequencers and external sequencing modes
their internal sequencers are easy to use, they don't require learning weird button mapping and stuff

but ask the people who use them.. how many of them use the internal sequencer and how many use "midiplay" (external sequencing)
i bet you most of them don't bother using the sequencer
and then they blame the plugin for not sounding like a 303 :dog:

external sequencing is not "bad" .. but it can make even a real TB-303 sound like something completely different
sounding like something completely different isn't bad, but i personally want the original sound, and i think most people expect the original sound when they go looking for a 303 emulation, don't they?
as an example, look at the hardware 303 clones which don't have sequencers on board.. check what music is made with them (how they are used mostly)
then check what music has been made with the very limited TB-303 which doesn't have any midi nor external sequencing mode whatsoever

these sequencers are not easy to design and code
but they are there in all serious emulations and clones, they are there for a very important reason
i'm just trying to make people understand and respect this small detail
It doesn't matter how it sounds..
..as long as it has BASS and it's LOUD!

irc.freenode.net >>> #kvr
iamyourfather
KVRist
 
274 posts since 7 Aug, 2010, from London, UK

Postby iamyourfather; Thu May 23, 2013 9:13 am

antto wrote:but ask the people who use them.. how many of them use the internal sequencer and how many use "midiplay" (external sequencing)
i bet you most of them don't bother using the sequencer
and then they blame the plugin for not sounding like a 303 :dog:


Now that is definitely true.. sadly.
Tux
KVRist
 
291 posts since 9 Jul, 2002, from About 3 feet below sea level.

Postby Tux; Thu May 23, 2013 11:27 am

antto wrote:if roland *did* release it a few years later with a midi mode like you say - i strongly, strongly believe things would have turned much differently....




I hear what you're saying antto and you're right. The 303 was afterall designed with guitarists in mind hence the internal sequencer. I seem to recall a picture of a guitar plugged into the unit in the manual.

But I assume had MIDI been around in 1981 it, like all of Roland's MIDI gear, would have been trigger-able over MIDI, but as you say, things would have been quite different if that had been the case.

Yes the sequencer does add to the sound and it does take skill and understanding of the 303's personality to convincingly pull it off using a piano roll. And generating random patterns on a piano roll is hard. But I have a trick for that :wink:

I'm just glad you made the 'mistake' of adding MIDI play.

The fact that you modeled the sound of the VB on the xoxbox probably explains why I like it so much as I like the sound of the xoxbox slightly better than a 303. My friend has a xoxbox and I've spent many hours playing with it.

You know, the question is often asked why don't Roland re-release the 303, and I think it's partly out of a kind of embarrassment. The 303 when it was designed and launched was meant to be an accompaniment playing along in the background behind some drums, guitar or organ as pictured below.

Goodness knows what Roland must have thought back in 1987/88 long after the thing had flopped commercially when it suddenly resurfaced as the centerpiece of a new 'cult'!

And now with so many decent clones around they've well and truly missed out now I guess.

Image
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