LHI Audio Cadmium, a vector phase-shaping synth

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
User avatar
wrl
KVRer
26 posts since 12 Aug, 2011

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:59 pm

Hey all. Been working on this one for a while and I'm excited to finally share it. And it's our first plugin! :party:


Cadmium is now available directly from the LHI Audio website, and it runs on Windows, MacOS, and Linux (both 32 and 64 bit builds available).


In a nutshell, Cadmium is all about audio-rate modulation.

There are two modulator oscillators in a 2D configuration, and then three carriers which the carriers modulate using vector phase-shaping (VPS). In essence, VPS is just two-dimensional phase distortion, but in practice, this particular architecture opens up some pretty interesting sonic territory – you can get some FM/PM-reminiscent timbres, some west coast-y stuff, but then you can also just turn all the shaping up and detune everything and end up deep in neurofunk or EDM territory if that's more your thing.

I then paired up these unabashedly digital oscillators with a smooth ladder filter, which can of course get a bit out of control if you overdrive it or crank the resonance (or set up some filter FM, which is one of my favourite tricks).

To round it off, there's some great presets from myself and a few friends, spanning everything from the aforementioned aggressive EDM sounds to some pretty spacey pads and keys. Definitely a lot to explore.

Go check our website out for sound examples and grab a demo to try out! And, hey, let me know what you think and what kind of sounds you come up with.

Peace,
-w


The current version of Cadmium is 1.0.2, the changelog is as follows:
  • Fixed knobs improperly signalling edit state to the host. This would manifest in cases like double-clicking to reset a parameter and the host not highlighting the parameter in question.
  • Fixed radiobars (like "filter type" or "polyphony mode") not signalling edit state to the host. This led to hosts not highlighting these parameters as they were edited in the UI.
  • A few new patches from Fen and b.trx!
  • Windows fixes:
    • Fixed "disappearing" parts of the UI with AMD GPUs.
      Thanks to Joshua Wade and Starthief for reporting!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by wrl on Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.

acYm
KVRian
708 posts since 11 Sep, 2015

Re: Cadmium, a vector-phase shaping synth

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:13 pm

I'm fond of the old-school reaktor looking visuals.

can you unlock the demo by authorizing or is there another dll for the full version?

User avatar
wrl
KVRer
26 posts since 12 Aug, 2011

Re: Cadmium, a vector phase-shaping synth

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:23 pm

Visuals and UX will get updated in time but will probably keep the flattish aesthetic.

Demo and full version are separate DLLs. Full version has no authorization check.
owner/operator LHI Audio

User avatar
DJErmac
KVRian
603 posts since 25 Apr, 2009 from France

Re: Cadmium, a vector phase-shaping synth

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:48 pm

Sounds really good, but I'm afraid the price may be very high for such a simple VSTi (no onboard FX ?).

And something is wrong with the CPU usage on my machine : some very simple presets use a crazy amount of CPU. For example WRL_Sine_Keys is using 70% as soon as I'm playing a couple of notes when I can run more than 20 instances of Avenger playing 20 complex tracks on my machine. For a reference, if I do the same thing with the preset BASICS_Sine, it's around 10% (which is still very high for such a sound !).

acYm
KVRian
708 posts since 11 Sep, 2015

Re: LHI Audio Cadmium, a vector phase-shaping synth

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:38 pm

I think it packs a punch, and is well matched vs the similar-ish Bazille, at 30e less, so I'm not sure about "very high" for the price. perhaps considering it's a first entry and all.

that sinekeys patch is something else lol, it peaks right about 45% (ableton meter reading) on my beastly 8086k, easily surpassing what my next hungriest mofo, waves element, can take. it jams up a whole thread. damn, son.

I'm mostly impressed by how the preset system works alright and you can batch import. what was the last major synth that can import fine? been a while, nothing does anymore.

User avatar
Vertion
KVRist
461 posts since 29 Oct, 2016

Re: LHI Audio Cadmium, a vector phase-shaping synth

Post Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:59 am

Deadmau5 likes this synth, it was on his livestream. I love the organic basses with VPS turned up. Good job Mr. Light.

simmo75
KVRian
997 posts since 25 Mar, 2016 from Seattle

Re: LHI Audio Cadmium, a vector phase-shaping synth

Post Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:29 am

Vertion wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:59 am
Deadmau5 likes this synth, it was on his livestream. I love the organic basses with VPS turned up. Good job Mr. Light.
Any video footage you can link?
I'd be interested to see it in action.

User avatar
wrl
KVRer
26 posts since 12 Aug, 2011

Re: LHI Audio Cadmium, a vector phase-shaping synth

Post Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:33 am

The CPU usage is definitely a known issue. The root cause is a combination of VPS being very tricky to antialias effectively and a very small internal blocksize to enable the audio-rate modulation. Regardless, I'm aware of the issue, and now that this 1.0 is out the door, solving the CPU usage is at the top of my list.

Sine keys can get pretty rough, yeah. It's the long release time more than anything else – easy to spike the polyphony up after just a few notes played. If it's too much, I'd recommend either reducing the max poly or turning the release down a bit to decrease the tail length.

Onboard FX make presets sound good, but for modern production workflows I feel they're of limited use. Perhaps for live situations where you don't want to bring along a whole DAW? But then there's hosts like Mainstage or Gig Performer that solve that. I've toyed with the notion of per-voice FX which would have the additional ability to tune to the pitch of the voice (really cool for things like resonator banks, rate reduction, etc), which I think could be really cool.
acYm wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:38 pm
I'm mostly impressed by how the preset system works alright and you can batch import. what was the last major synth that can import fine? been a while, nothing does anymore.
I'd love to hear more about this. Which host? I've got a rework of the preset system scheduled for the mid-term (next year, probably Q2). Most synths seem to eschew the VST preset management entirely, but if people use those functions then I'll see about keeping them in.

Thanks for the kind words all around!
owner/operator LHI Audio

User avatar
wrl
KVRer
26 posts since 12 Aug, 2011

Re: LHI Audio Cadmium, a vector phase-shaping synth

Post Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:56 am

simmo75 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:29 am
Any video footage you can link?
I'd be interested to see it in action.
Here's the stream he did testing it a few weeks back: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/318416822
owner/operator LHI Audio

User avatar
Russell Grand
KVRian
1411 posts since 22 May, 2017

Re: Cadmium, a vector phase-shaping synth

Post Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:03 am

DJErmac wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:48 pm
Sounds really good, but I'm afraid the price may be very high for such a simple VSTi (no onboard FX ?).

And something is wrong with the CPU usage on my machine : some very simple presets use a crazy amount of CPU. For example WRL_Sine_Keys is using 70% as soon as I'm playing a couple of notes when I can run more than 20 instances of Avenger playing 20 complex tracks on my machine. For a reference, if I do the same thing with the preset BASICS_Sine, it's around 10% (which is still very high for such a sound !).
Yow, definitely overpriced IMNSHO, especially because of the CPU issues you mentioned.

Nice first synth for sure, though. :tu:

mtytel
KVRist
53 posts since 28 Jan, 2013 from Oakland

Re: LHI Audio Cadmium, a vector phase-shaping synth

Post Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:42 am

Damn this sounds sick, can get some real nice grit out this thing.
A breath of fresh air from the 1000 wavetable synths everyone has.

fundamental
KVRist
491 posts since 21 Oct, 2008 from USA

Re: LHI Audio Cadmium, a vector phase-shaping synth

Post Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:57 am

Sweet, Cadmium is finally out. I've been watching the development for a while and it's great to know it's reached this milestone. Awesome stuff going on under the hood and solid demos. I've got to start playing around with this on my machine :)
One of the developers on the ZynAddSubFX open source synth
The author of the Zyn-Fusion UI for ZynAddSubFX

User avatar
foosnark
KVRAF
4418 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Re: LHI Audio Cadmium, a vector phase-shaping synth

Post Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:01 am

The sound engine here is really one of the most exciting things I've encountered in software in a while. (*) It takes VPS well beyond Circle (which I just am not into very much). I like the "West Coast"-ness of it -- between VPS and phase modulation, you just don't need filters at all. And yet the filters are good too!

Audio rate modulation is my jam, and I love how it works here, with easy octave and semitone shifts and detuning. This is exactly how I work in hardware modular. Like I said at Lines, with "VCAs" to be able to modulate the modulation amounts, it's going to feel really complete and it's already excellent as is.

The 1.0 version might be a little rough but I think the price is worth it for a unique synth engine.

It does give the CPU a serious workout, but I'll cope -- to me it's worth it for the audio rate modulation, and I tend to use a few monophonic voices and rarely much polyphony in the first place. I can see how it would be a deal-breaker for some (like the people who want to polychain Moog Ones because 16 isn't enough polyphony :hihi:)


(*) I know, I said that about Waverazor last year. The difference is this is a synth and that was... part of a synth that needed more design focus. Cadmium is full of sweet spots, but it was hard to find them in Waverazor.

ssj71
KVRer
27 posts since 16 Nov, 2015

Re: LHI Audio Cadmium, a vector phase-shaping synth

Post Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:06 am

wrl wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:56 am
Here's the stream he did testing it a few weeks back: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/318416822
Joel was doing some pretty sick stuff with cadmium without hardly trying. For just $100 its a no-brainer. I'm not seeing really any CPU issues with it, not that it's made for netbooks or anything. I can tell it's a serious synth.

User avatar
Robert Randolph
KVRAF
2163 posts since 25 May, 2003 from Saint Petersburg, Florida

Re: LHI Audio Cadmium, a vector phase-shaping synth

Post Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:43 am

I've been using this synth for... a few years now. It's a f**king monster, and it's quite unique.

I agree strongly with William about the effects. Built in effects are neat for making fancy presets, but they're rarely as what as you already have in your effects arsenal.

Cadmium is the sort of product that, no matter what you have, you don't have anything that covers the same ground as Cadmium with the same ease.
http://admiralbumblebee.com/
Audio Software Reviews, Woodworking, Programming and more... new posts every weekend!

Return to “Instruments”