Modular Plugins Question

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Boy Wonder
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172 posts since 30 Jan, 2021

Post Mon May 16, 2022 9:43 am

Hi all. Most, if not all, modular VSTi modular systems (Cardinal Rack, CV-1, SoloRack, etc) make it so you're unable to wire the ins and outs of components that don't belong attached. However, they do allow you to plug outs to ins where either no sound is produced or you just hear a click. How come they don't make it that you simply can't, or shouldn't, make a connection that produces no results? This would greatly reduce my trial and error to get me up and running much faster.

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FrogsInPants
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296 posts since 4 Nov, 2019

Post Mon May 16, 2022 4:11 pm

The top level of a modular system passes data from an output of one module to an input of another module. It won't let you connect an input to an input or an output to an output because there is nothing sensible it can ever do in that case. But it's not really possible to figure out whether a specific connection from an output to an input will result in any sound, because it will depend on what other connections and settings are made. A connection that produces no sound in one situation might produce sound in another.

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Boy Wonder
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172 posts since 30 Jan, 2021

Post Mon May 16, 2022 5:06 pm

"A connection that produces no sound in one situation might produce sound in another."

@ FrogInPants - So, then, it IS a trial and error type of thing. I was hoping not. (Yeah, I've gotten lazier in my old age). Thanks for enlightening me.

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FrogsInPants
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296 posts since 4 Nov, 2019

Post Mon May 16, 2022 5:25 pm

Or, you could read the documentation for the modules you want to use, to learn what their inputs and outputs do. Or watch some tutorials. Or start with a functioning patch and tweak that to get some familiarity with the modules. You don't have to rely on trial and error. Above, I was just explaining why it isn't feasible for the modular system to figure out for you which connections will do something useful and which will not.

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WasteLand
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2426 posts since 8 Jun, 2018

Post Mon May 16, 2022 9:10 pm

Boy Wonder wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 5:06 pm "A connection that produces no sound in one situation might produce sound in another."

@ FrogInPants - So, then, it IS a trial and error type of thing. I was hoping not. (Yeah, I've gotten lazier in my old age). Thanks for enlightening me.
it isn't trial and error, but indeed could be, there is a basic way, even a more in-depth way, the power of modular is to make connections that aren't 'sensible', on first sight.
so it isn't really trial and error; some connections can be 'accidents' and give great sounds, but if you know what you are doing, more strange connections could be made.

for instance an oscillator isn't needed to create sound...

but, try the basics; oscillator; filter; adsr; vca. the substractive way.

and slowly go deeper, with some tutorials, examples, etc. there is no easy way.
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shits the wise man. hero and blind. take me as
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Boy Wonder
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172 posts since 30 Jan, 2021

Post Mon May 16, 2022 9:53 pm

@WasteLand says, "...there is no easy way."

So I'm figuring out! Cardinal Rack comes with, what, 500 modules and no manual?! Yes, I do right-click on them to see what they do, but the learning curve is huge because quite a few modules use abbreviations I have no clue what they mean. Thanks for the encouragement.

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nix808
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4709 posts since 22 Jul, 2006 from Tasmania, Australia

Post Mon May 16, 2022 11:23 pm

the more you do it, the more familiar it will become

-you will start to intuit what might be interesting

playing with non-modular synths helps too

often you will use a conventional routing again

-it is a little dangerous to your ears and amplification equipment

k2006
KVRist
210 posts since 18 Jan, 2014

Post Tue May 17, 2022 9:25 am

If you want some readymade patches try Veeseevst rack -vst version of earlier vcv rack viewtopic.php?t=507216

j wazza
KVRian
524 posts since 5 Oct, 2020

Post Tue May 17, 2022 10:11 am

if you connect an osc to a filter but the filter output doesnt go anywhere, youll get no sound.
if you connect a filter output to the main out but there is no input to the filter, youll get no sound.

with a patchable modular there is no way to avoid this like youre asking, the only way is like uhe ace that has default connections with a standard fixed routing but when you patch cables you can override the default routing (so it starts off not-modular like a normal synth but can be made modular)

but even with ace as soon as you start patching there are ways to connect things that don't come from any sound or dont go to any output

one thing that should exist though is a modular that can automatically point out the patching errors, it wouldnt always know what youre trying to do but in my examples of a filter with no input it could tell you stuff like that so in more complex patches it could sometimes tell where theres a missing cable, i think reaktor might do this with debugging but it would be good to have for learners,

another thing that would be cool is an interactive tutorial like syntorial but for a modular

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Boy Wonder
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Topic Starter
172 posts since 30 Jan, 2021

Post Tue May 17, 2022 10:20 pm

@j wazza - I totally and whole heartedly agree.

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WasteLand
KVRAF
2426 posts since 8 Jun, 2018

Post Tue May 17, 2022 11:24 pm

Boy Wonder wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 9:53 pm @WasteLand says, "...there is no easy way."

So I'm figuring out! Cardinal Rack comes with, what, 500 modules and no manual?! Yes, I do right-click on them to see what they do, but the learning curve is huge because quite a few modules use abbreviations I have no clue what they mean. Thanks for the encouragement.
what @nix808 says. but indeed cardinal comes with 500 modules. there are manuals per module, via the vcv site of course, and some specific cardinal modules at github i believe.

but start simple, you can already have a lot of fun with a some 'simple' modules, because, well an oscillator, in a modular, with one lfo, and adsr, and with a filter and with a vca...

well start simple, i repeat, i did. you must. and slowly you get the grip on how everything works, specialized modules still you have to learn, but....

but forget the 500 modules. take 5! and already you can create terrific things!

i tend to use a low count of modules, and my patches for soft modulars, sound, wel...

cardinal is based on VCV, so you use those tutorials.

or also install VCV Rack 2 Free, standard it comes with 30 modules?? enough free modules to go to 1300 or 1600...

next to Cardinal, it is standalone only, i only have the free version, but standalone works perfectly for me, and of course there is... Cardinal...

perhaps, because, the tutorials, are using, well the look almost the same...

or perhaps, too much, to have installed 2 versions... (although basically the same...)

but stop! don't get lost in the woods of modules. learn the basics, that is already great fun.

and start with and OSC (oscillator), a Filter, a ADSR and a VCA...
and add later a second ADSR for the filter.
and add later a LFO for the filter and/or OSC...

there you go!
take me as apple as reed-son as flesh-icon, immediately
shits the wise man. hero and blind. take me as
stick as tongue as dog... Indusrial & Sound Brut

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WasteLand
KVRAF
2426 posts since 8 Jun, 2018

Post Tue May 17, 2022 11:32 pm

i make another seperate reply, you can also start with Voltage Modular Nucleus. it has 25 modules, or so? and you think, that is nothing, well... you can do a lot with 25 modules...

it is perhaps an easier, and also free, entrance to the soft modular world. with manuals per modules, and also tutorials and a great user group on facebook that helps you with every question.

https://cherryaudio.com/videos/voltage- ... r-patching

and here you can download it; with an account...

https://cherryaudio.com/products/voltage-modular

perhaps i nice way to start. and VM, well there is always a battle (bitwig vs ableton... VCV vs VM), VM is pretty good..

but i advice it, to learn, with a small group of modules, to step up to Cardinal.
take me as apple as reed-son as flesh-icon, immediately
shits the wise man. hero and blind. take me as
stick as tongue as dog... Indusrial & Sound Brut

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