Modular software options?

Modular Synth design and releases (Reaktor, SynthEdit, Tassman, etc.)
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gentleclockdivider
KVRAF
5284 posts since 22 Mar, 2009 from gent

Post Fri Sep 16, 2022 2:39 am

As a modular host program bidule is great , especially the audio routing and the fft-ifft modules .
For midi routing and as a vst host it' does the job pretty well but I prefer Loomer architect .
For analogue modelling you should really look elsewhere because that's not what bidule is for , there are some basic osc and filter modules but they sound pretty mediocre if you ask me , and dsp wise you can't roll your own modules like reaktor (using core language ).
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pandafish
KVRer
1 posts since 24 Sep, 2022

Post Sat Sep 24, 2022 10:56 am

Many options, all good, none perfect. My two favorites for sound quality are Softube modular and the Toybox Reaktor blocks.

Softube sounds great with a broad selection of very consistent modules. However, the UI is awkward (non-resizable, separate screen to add modules, non-purchased modules cluttering the selection dialog), polyphony is a challenge, and it's pricier.

Toybox is non-skeuomorphic, inexpensive, sounds great, easy polyphony, and is very deep. It suffers somewhat from being hosted inside Reaktor with no native M1 support and lackluster multithreading.

I last spent time with VCV before the 2.0 update, but found the inconsistency in sound quality, UI, and stability/bugginess across modules to be a time sink. I'm sure this settles out as you develop a set of favorites and I've been meaning to give it another shot to dig into the Instruo modules which look exciting.

Kalamata Kid
KVRAF
5421 posts since 27 Jul, 2001 from Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA

Post Sat Sep 24, 2022 12:10 pm

gentleclockdivider wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 2:39 am As a modular host program bidule is great , especially the audio routing and the fft-ifft modules .
For midi routing and as a vst host it' does the job pretty well but I prefer Loomer architect .
For analogue modelling you should really look elsewhere because that's not what bidule is for , there are some basic osc and filter modules but they sound pretty mediocre if you ask me , and dsp wise you can't roll your own modules like reaktor (using core language ).
I like Bidule because all the Bidule audio and midi modules and VSTfx and VSTi modules can be freely connected in a single modular environment. Is this also true on Architect?

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pdxindy
KVRAF
22438 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Sun Sep 25, 2022 10:52 pm

Bitwig is my favorite modular software environment. It has the modular Grid, but Bitwig itself is also an excellent modular environment. It is easy on cpu and easy for polyphony. I can make say an EP preset in the Grid with a voice stack of 3 and 16 voice polyphony (48 voices total) and it does not max the cpu.

Working with the Grid and Bitwig in general is great. Fantastic workflow and modulation is unmatched. MPE support is great too. And now Bitwig has CLAP support and Bitwig per voice modulators can do polyphonic parameter modulation with CLAP plugins that support it. Right now that includes CLAP betas of ACE, Diva and Hive. Bazille soon and RePro later.

GusGranite
KVRist
348 posts since 18 Feb, 2019

Post Sun Sep 25, 2022 11:27 pm

For ease of use and quality of 3rd party developers, I am very much enjoying Voltage Modular. Check out Weevil, Playertron, MRB, and the new upcomer R_Ware, among other more well known names like PSPAudioware etc. It’s a real playground. There’s a nice little community building around it as well.
Last edited by GusGranite on Sat Oct 01, 2022 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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oddsphere
KVRer
5 posts since 1 Oct, 2022

Post Sat Oct 01, 2022 12:47 pm

I've seen a couple mentions but Bitwig's grid has been my favorite so far as well :) I like the ability to share really experimental patches in the box
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CrystalWizard
KVRAF
1875 posts since 10 Jul, 2008 from Orbit Sol III

Post Sat Oct 01, 2022 2:12 pm

Reaktor

VCV is nice
I had a try with AAS Multiphonics and that's good, would be worthy if they added some PM modules.
Reaktor with the Hetrick and Toybox is my fav. Besides modular in Reaktor is only a small part of the fun.
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if this post is edited -it was for punctuation, grammar, or to make it coherent (or make me seem coherent).

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foosnark
KVRAF
6486 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Mon Oct 03, 2022 3:32 am

pandafish wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 10:56 am I last spent time with VCV before the 2.0 update, but found the inconsistency in sound quality, UI, and stability/bugginess across modules to be a time sink. I'm sure this settles out as you develop a set of favorites and I've been meaning to give it another shot to dig into the Instruo modules which look exciting.
That tracks with real Eurorack :hihi: In both cases I've narrowed it down to some favorites.

As far as Bitwig vs VCV goes, they each have their strengths and weaknesses and I like them both.

I use Bitwig more, but I appreciate VCV having modules with specific character rather than just generic building blocks.

Some kinds of patching feel more intuitive to me in VCV (maybe because I'm used to the hardware versions of the exact same utility modules), but some things simpler to do in Bitwig Grid.
Feedback patching in Bitwig is a frustrating mess of workarounds, but natural in VCV.

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pdxindy
KVRAF
22438 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Mon Oct 03, 2022 6:10 am

foosnark wrote: Mon Oct 03, 2022 3:32 am
Feedback patching in Bitwig is a frustrating mess of workarounds, but natural in VCV.
Feedback patching should just be avoided entirely in Bitwig... :hihi:

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
12497 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Mon Oct 03, 2022 6:13 am

foosnark wrote: Tue Feb 08, 2022 10:09 am I only use the standalone version of VCV for screwing around, I use the plugin version all the time for actual tracks, without any serious issues.
I love it too, though there’s a bug that causes it to not work if I have my Elektron RYTM and Four in. That’s a pretty serious issue, if you own Elektron gear.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
12497 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Mon Oct 03, 2022 6:16 am

In bang-for-buck/development, you’ve got to hand it to VCV Rack Pro, but you might want to budget some extra for things like the Vult modules. (Not all are free)

Reaktor is also amazing, and you can find a lot of free content in the user library.

But the “best sounding” has to go to Softube Modular. Unfortunately, due to the cost of the add-on modules, it’s also the most expensive, but man, they do really sound amazing, especially for analog style sounds.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

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pdxindy
KVRAF
22438 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Mon Oct 03, 2022 7:21 am

foosnark wrote: Mon Oct 03, 2022 3:32 amI use Bitwig more, but I appreciate VCV having modules with specific character rather than just generic building blocks.
Bitwig's Grid has spoiled me. The workflow is so much faster than other software modulars which are tending to emulate hardware modular with all its tedious wiring.

In Bitwig's Grid, I can have 6-8 mod destinations set in seconds and with no wiring needed at all. Then if I decide later I would rather have those 6-8 destinations on an LFO instead the Env I initially used, I can change that in a couple seconds. Then add an Env to fade the LFO... again, no inertia.

The speed and agility of doing complex modulations in Bitwig is a magnitude better than other software modulars.

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foosnark
KVRAF
6486 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Mon Oct 03, 2022 11:20 am

pdxindy wrote: Mon Oct 03, 2022 7:21 am The speed and agility of doing complex modulations in Bitwig is a magnitude better than other software modulars.
I still kind of don't like invisible modulation routings in Bitwig Grid -- it's a mixed metaphor that makes patches harder to read visually than they should be.

And they can't really be avoided, because a lot of modules don't have input jacks for every parameter.

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pdxindy
KVRAF
22438 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Mon Oct 03, 2022 1:00 pm

foosnark wrote: Mon Oct 03, 2022 11:20 am
pdxindy wrote: Mon Oct 03, 2022 7:21 am The speed and agility of doing complex modulations in Bitwig is a magnitude better than other software modulars.
I still kind of don't like invisible modulation routings in Bitwig Grid -- it's a mixed metaphor that makes patches harder to read visually than they should be.

And they can't really be avoided, because a lot of modules don't have input jacks for every parameter.
To each their own I guess... but that is exactly why I like Bitwig.

The Bitwig modules are much simpler. If they were eurorack style, every modulatable parameter would need an input and an attenuator.

And then if you wanted to have 3 sources modulate the same parameter, you would either need multiple inputs and attenuators on the module or you need to use a mixer to combine the 3 sources and set individual depths. So complicated (like some Eurorack modules) while Bitwig is sleek and fast and visually uncluttered.

I don't try to avoid invisible mod routings, I maximize them. I find patches easier to see/understand when they have only 10-15% as many wires to do the same thing. A sea of wires all over can be quite difficult to discern.

At any time, I can hover the mouse over the mod arrow of say an AD Env and all its destinations and depths are highlighted. Also, all the sources and destinations plus depths are always visible/editable in the Inspector. Plus it is easy to disable specific routings to A/B stuff, mod a destination by another modulator, and select destination curves. The Inspector has the additional bonus if being able to see and edit all modulations without even having to open the edit window.

Software modular that copies the hardware paradigm feels like slogging through mud by comparison.

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foosnark
KVRAF
6486 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Mon Oct 03, 2022 3:36 pm

I'm definitely OK with using mixer and attenuator modules for modulation sources. Especially in software where a new instance of them is free :D

Anyway, it doesn't really bother me that much, but I do wish there was a hotkey or something to toggle drawing lines between modulators and their targets.

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