Any Chance of modules for VCV Rack?

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mevla
KVRAF
1596 posts since 3 Nov, 2015

Post Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:07 pm

What could be nice is a modulation grid that goes over several synths and allows for modulating chosen parameters out of those synths. Along with a full-featured sequencer whose sequences can be modulated.

The idea is a parallel with VCV Rack. One important aspect of VCV Rack I find, is that it offers a unified interface. It's one face, made of many modules. Everything can be modified at once, it's only a knob and wire away. No need to jump from one synth UI to another synth UI to a sequencer UI. It's all there as far as I see it. The musician plays with everything at once as the piece evolves without having to switch UIs.

An UI interface that would offer a 'single face' to a certain number of underlying synths plus immediate access to a fine sequencer with sequences that can be modulated, would offer a very similar experience as the VCV Rack but with a sound capability that would largely exceed VCV Racks.

A single company could do that with their synths as they can interface with them. This unified interface could communicate with the synths to get their patch names so that the musician could totally stay within the large unified interface and modulate synths, modulate sequences, change patches on any synth. The unified interface would propose a wide range of modulators and effects. Each synth would be on a DAW track as usual.

And if there'd be standard interface to the unified UI then other companies could adopt the standard so that their synths can also be used.

I consider that the VCV Rack interface plays an important role in the musician creative process, distinct from the usual DAW + synths + FX, all in their little UI worlds so to speak. To bring a similar experience using traditional synths could be interesting.

Look at Rob Papen's Prisma for just a little hint about a unified interface over several synths.

Cheers.

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Urs
u-he
22410 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Re: Any Chance of modules for VCV Rack?

Post Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:55 pm

The main reason for preferring pixel graphics over vectors is CPU. On Windows our UI framework is not hardware accelerated. We scale each PNG graphic and cache it in memory. This way, blitting is super fast.

The reason our UIs have sometimes been slow in the past were font rendering and oscilloscopes, which are the two main elements which use vector graphics. I spent a month or so on a polygon renderering algorithm which is almost ten times faster than Apple's built-in one (I'm actually sure it's novel and I should take the time to publish it, but d'oh... when?). It's still much slower than just blitting a bitmap.

So why don't we go hardware acceleration e.g. OpenGL? - Because it sucks. I spoke to several developers who use vector UIs who I knew to use OpenGL. Each of them has reverted from OpenGL to rendering in software since.

But there's hope. On Linux we use Cairo. Cairo seems to take over the burden of making hardwrae acceleration reliable across all platforms. We will evaluate Cairo on Windows (on Mac even) one day, but we need to push through the remainder of our update schedule before we can start this project.

But also, I think people generally prefer faux wood panels. They're pretty.

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EvilDragon
KVRAF
16932 posts since 7 Jan, 2009 from Croatia

Re: Any Chance of modules for VCV Rack?

Post Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:27 am

Out of plugins that I have, Madrona Labs, UVI, Tokyo Dawn Labs all have OGL for their plugins (Madrona uses it exclusively through JUCE, don't think you can disable it, whereas the other two have a checkbox for enabling hardware acceleration through OGL), and there are no issues with them as far as I can tell...

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aMUSEd
KVRAF
29655 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Re: Any Chance of modules for VCV Rack?

Post Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:31 am

Falcon uses OGL too optionally

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Urs
u-he
22410 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Re: Any Chance of modules for VCV Rack?

Post Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:31 am

Nevertheless, we had various friends tell us how much trouble it is. So we'd rather go with a different option, and Cairo seems pretty good - particularly because it already runs our Linux UI.

mcbpete
KVRian
1224 posts since 24 Jun, 2006 from London, England

Re: Any Chance of modules for VCV Rack?

Post Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:39 am

Aren't Apple deprecating OpenGL & CL too according to this thread - viewtopic.php?f=33&t=505956

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EvilDragon
KVRAF
16932 posts since 7 Jan, 2009 from Croatia

Re: Any Chance of modules for VCV Rack?

Post Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:48 am

Deprecating doesn't mean it'd stop working. But yeah knowing Apple a few years down the line they'd kill it completely. Nevermind the great majority of the world still using OGL by and large. Then again, desktop gaming is not Apple's thing, so...

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dlarseninclusive
KVRist
244 posts since 19 Nov, 2017 from Los Angeles

Re: Any Chance of modules for VCV Rack?

Post Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:13 am

I found the 'The VST Plugin port of VCV Rack (unofficial)' handy. It worked right away with bitwig modulators and I used it as a signal source for U-he signal chain experiments, the VST bridge works fine too. Ed said something like "A lot of fun to be had with no $" which is exactly right.

Compared it to Softtube Modular too (as it's half price atm). I think it's half price for a reason. It sounds good, but too much marketing to buy everything when you open it. (I would rather spend that on the spring reverb when it comes out) And even then, VCV suited my needs better when using them side by side. I installed the 2 week demo really wanting to buy it, and it just did not blow me away.

Last year when we talked about VCV Rack it was very 'Wild West' the bar for entry was pretty low, which is still true but seems to be stabilizing. I like using it in place of things I might use Reaktor for. Not ready to use it as a host but as a component with Bitwig and U-he it fits in well. The VCV module market is still a little scary to get involved in I think.

Some of the things I see brewing are pretty exciting. I think hardware modulation with software will be there soon without having to hack it into place and combining that with audio I/O. One day soon an interface like the ES-8 should completely blur hardware and software. (Without needing Jack, RTP MIDI, bending velocity to transmit modulation... right now I need a whole kit to make it all work)

I still think 'Berlin Modular' will blow the world away when it's ready.

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dlarseninclusive
KVRist
244 posts since 19 Nov, 2017 from Los Angeles

Re: Any Chance of modules for VCV Rack?

Post Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:48 am

Is that not the truth, you spend a month developing a new mouse trap. "Oh this will make a great blog post! ... I should send this in to (Mag, Journal etc...) ... I should at least write it up ... at least I have good notes for later ... at least I commented my code..." *3 Months of life later* "OH check out my new, new mouse trap, this would make a great blog post!" The only time I can make that work is if I do the write up as I go.. which I almost never do.

I like the wood panels. It matches some of my hardware and besides wood sounds warmer. :D
Urs wrote: I spent a month or so on a polygon renderering algorithm which is almost ten times faster than Apple's built-in one (I'm actually sure it's novel and I should take the time to publish it, but d'oh... when?). It's still much slower than just blitting a bitmap.
.....
But also, I think people generally prefer faux wood panels. They're pretty.
Back on VCV rack, I was thinking about it. At least in the moment, I am not sure I want to spend deep into another format. I am happy with the VST rig for now, and I think of Reason. I have no idea how much I have into RE's, most of which don't get used as much slaving Reason. (If rewire ever lets us use it as an effects processor that would change) I am also nowhere near outgrowing the set of devices that come with VCV Rack stock. I get that people want more from it, and I see what the cats are doing in the VCV groups. It's impressive, I am just still on the fence about paying for modules. More precisely getting into another format to collect.

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Urs
u-he
22410 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Re: Any Chance of modules for VCV Rack?

Post Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:39 pm

Re. polygon renderer... I'm challenge driven. I don't care for bucks, as long as have enough to get by. I panic when I don't have any, but as soon as we got some I do what I feel is a challenge. Polygon renderer is pretty nifty. Never seen the method described in literature.

Re VCV rack, it's enticing. It seems blatantly simple. No-brainer even. There'll be a catch. We have plenty of other things on our plate before we find out. Including a real hardware device. Yay!

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dlarseninclusive
KVRist
244 posts since 19 Nov, 2017 from Los Angeles

Re: Any Chance of modules for VCV Rack?

Post Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:37 pm

I can relate, and that is badass. :D It's fun when you discover something nobody else has before, also you can't buy that. I wish I was more money driven only when stressed etc... I do prefer it as a side effect of life decisions and not the other way around.

Looking forward to CVilization in my little rack someday soon. :D
Urs wrote:Re. polygon renderer... I'm challenge driven. I don't care for bucks, as long as have enough to get by. I panic when I don't have any, but as soon as we got some I do what I feel is a challenge. Polygon renderer is pretty nifty. Never seen the method described in literature.

Re VCV rack, it's enticing. It seems blatantly simple. No-brainer even. There'll be a catch. We have plenty of other things on our plate before we find out. Including a real hardware device. Yay!

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Urs
u-he
22410 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Re: Any Chance of modules for VCV Rack?

Post Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:39 pm

CVilization by mouse: Pain in the ass.

It would need an entirely different interface. I guess that using rotary encoders with RGB-LED and push-button function is the ulitmate protection against people trying to 1:1 copy a Eurorack module to software.

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dlarseninclusive
KVRist
244 posts since 19 Nov, 2017 from Los Angeles

Re: Any Chance of modules for VCV Rack?

Post Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:36 am

I meant literally in my little rack.. :? Right next to the ES-8 and the Neurton, right above the MiniBrute 2S. Tiny rig... I don't have all of it yet.
Urs wrote:CVilization by mouse: Pain in the ass.

It would need an entirely different interface. I guess that using rotary encoders with RGB-LED and push-button function is the ulitmate protection against people trying to 1:1 copy a Eurorack module to software.

Amerikanisches Englisch macht keinen Sinn.

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Urs
u-he
22410 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Re: Any Chance of modules for VCV Rack?

Post Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:04 am

dlarseninclusive wrote:I meant literally in my little rack..
Oops, I misread :lol: :lol: :lol:

But yeah, can't wait either. Still waiting for offers from assemblers for the first batch of 10 (pre-series beta versions). First hold up was Chinese New Year, now it's European summer break...

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dlarseninclusive
KVRist
244 posts since 19 Nov, 2017 from Los Angeles

Re: Any Chance of modules for VCV Rack?

Post Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:27 am

Tough problem. It looks like it will be totally worth it. I am very much looking forward to it.

If you happen to consider American assembly TI, might have robots and people ready... :D
Urs wrote:Still waiting for offers from assemblers for the first batch of 10 (pre-series beta versions). First hold up was Chinese New Year, now it's European summer break...

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