A modular platform

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
Toets
KVRist
33 posts since 1 May, 2019

Post Fri May 17, 2019 10:45 am

Modular is more popular then ever..
Not just in eurorack
But also in software..
Just look at all the offerings from Reaktor, Live(max), bitwig3, and many others..

Isn’t it time for an open standard for modular soft synths?
Where every developer can sell his own modules?

When done right.. there also should be a hardware controller for this..

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pljones
KVRAF
6458 posts since 8 Feb, 2003 from London, UK

Re: A modular platform

Post Fri May 17, 2019 12:40 pm

I've not really looked yet but isn't VST3 meant to make this a lot easier? VST2 supports audio and event ins and outs but in fixed numbers, plus parameters for automation as input -- but no equivalent output.

MuTools' MuLab makes wiring existing plugins together really easy, of course, as do other modular hosts that support VST.

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pekbro
KVRAF
2629 posts since 29 Sep, 2010 from Maui

Re: A modular platform

Post Fri May 17, 2019 12:47 pm

Well, none of the existing systems are particularly compatible as it is. Porting is not too difficult
between VCV and Voltage Modular. All but VCV involve closed proprietary systems and licensing no doubt.
Until one of them comes out on top, not too much point in it imho. Mostly as the only people making
them are modular hardware developers looking for alternative income options, who will generally
go with VCV, Softube or Reason interestingly. I've seen a surprising effort in REs on the part of modular devs. E.g. Noise Engineering etc...

Personally, I prefer the modular hardware option...

Toets
KVRist
33 posts since 1 May, 2019

Re: A modular platform

Post Fri May 17, 2019 9:30 pm

pekbro wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 12:47 pm
Well, none of the existing systems are particularly compatible as it is. Porting is not too difficult
between VCV and Voltage Modular. All but VCV involve closed proprietary systems and licensing no doubt.
Until one of them comes out on top, not too much point in it imho. Mostly as the only people making
them are modular hardware developers looking for alternative income options, who will generally
go with VCV, Softube or Reason interestingly. I've seen a surprising effort in REs on the part of modular devs. E.g. Noise Engineering etc...

Personally, I prefer the modular hardware option...
While the hardware is so much fun to play with, i hate and can’t live with the fact that i can not save the patches i create.. thats the single reason i prefer software..

Been toying with the bitwig beta at a friends ths week, anthe new modular is so much fun, espescially since it allows you to visualise the signals so good in the inspector... the simple design/look works really well, yet the relatively small number of building blocks is quite limmiting.. there is no wave table osc for starters.. and there are only basic filters..

deastman
KVRAF
7103 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: A modular platform

Post Fri May 17, 2019 10:31 pm

Image
Incomplete list of my gear: 110V AC to 12V DC 1.5A power supply (+ tip)

generaldiomedes
KVRian
655 posts since 15 Apr, 2017 from Canada

Re: A modular platform

Post Fri May 17, 2019 11:21 pm

Deletedelete

AnX
KVRAF
4380 posts since 17 Nov, 2015

Re: A modular platform

Post Fri May 17, 2019 11:44 pm

Toets wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 10:45 am


Isn’t it time for an open standard for modular soft synths?
like vst?

Toets
KVRist
33 posts since 1 May, 2019

Re: A modular platform

Post Sat May 18, 2019 1:15 am

AnX wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 11:44 pm
Toets wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 10:45 am


Isn’t it time for an open standard for modular soft synths?
like vst?
Not exactly like VST..

A standard one level deeper.. where the specifications of the modules are defined...

Where in a VST the specifications for a whole instrument are defined..

Innhardware, there is one major standard, eurorack, and everyone builds modules for that..

In software there is no standard, so everyone ends up building modules dor their own standard.


The post, where someone indeed warns for the 15th standard.. is a real trap... it can only be overcome if the major players get to agree on a standard, much like midi was once developed..

The before mentioned VST standard, was not meant to be a standard, but became a standard because Steinberg opened up their system to the rest of the world..

Now platforms like reactor and Max for live are allready incredibly open... but you can not use your Reaktor blocks inside max. I think tough it might be possible to create reactor blocks with the full version of Max..


As said before i am a huge fan of how bitwig is doing things in the grid. So many things that spark my kindle. But i have no clue if bitwig will offer development tools dor new modules, or even open up the system... interested to see how this develops.

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lnikj
KVRAF
2005 posts since 23 May, 2005 from the North Cornwall coast

Re: A modular platform

Post Sat May 18, 2019 2:23 am

What you are asking for is impossible. VM uses Java, VCV and Softube C++, Reaktor and Max are visual programming languages.

The best you can get to is to base things on voltage standards, eg -10v to +10v etc so it is easy to move conceptually between platforms.

Most of these tools can communicate with each other via CV as audio, Midi, OSC etc and it would be good if they all made the same interfaces available. Latency and the limited power of CPUs is an issue though.

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whyterabbyt
Beware the Quoth
27064 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Re: A modular platform

Post Sat May 18, 2019 2:39 am

This idea gets raised every year or two.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=452389

If it was gonna happen, it would have done by now, and you already know the reason it hasnt...
it can only be overcome if the major players get to agree on a standard
Just for the record
I think tough it might be possible to create reactor blocks with the full version of Max..
isnt true; there's no way to create anything for reaktor outside reaktor unless you're NI.

and
Innhardware, there is one major standard, eurorack, and everyone builds modules for that..
isnt entirely true. There are lots of digital modules that have IO limited to 5V, for example, and not every analogue module uses the various voltage levels Doepfer originally went with (which in themselves also vary a bit by purpose; as per Doepfer's tech info its 0-10V audio, +/- 2.5V for bipolar CV, 0-8V other CV, 0-5V for gate/trigger/clock)
"The bearer of this signature is a genuine and authorised pope."

Toets
KVRist
33 posts since 1 May, 2019

Re: A modular platform

Post Sat May 18, 2019 3:01 am

lnikj wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 2:23 am
What you are asking for is impossible. VM uses Java, VCV and Softube C++, Reaktor and Max are visual programming languages.
i know
The best you can get to is to base things on voltage standards, eg -10v to +10v etc so it is easy to move conceptually between platforms.
sounds like a great first step
Most of these tools can communicate with each other via CV as audio, Midi, OSC etc and it would be good if they all made the same interfaces available. Latency and the limited power of CPUs is an issue though.
With all the programming differences, a standard that just defines the different signals and voltage specifications would allow many of these to run in it... java, c++ and max(full version) all should allow the creation of stand alone modules..

Toets
KVRist
33 posts since 1 May, 2019

Re: A modular platform

Post Sat May 18, 2019 3:05 am

whyterabbyt wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 2:39 am
This idea gets raised every year or two.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=452389

If it was gonna happen, it would have done by now, and you already know the reason it hasnt...
it can only be overcome if the major players get to agree on a standard
Just for the record
I think tough it might be possible to create reactor blocks with the full version of Max..
isnt true; there's no way to create anything for reaktor outside reaktor unless you're NI.

and
Innhardware, there is one major standard, eurorack, and everyone builds modules for that..
isnt entirely true. There are lots of digital modules that have IO limited to 5V, for example, and not every analogue module uses the various voltage levels Doepfer originally went with (which in themselves also vary a bit by purpose; as per Doepfer's tech info its 0-10V audio, +/- 2.5V for bipolar CV, 0-8V other CV, 0-5V for gate/trigger/clock)
Thank you for the insight.. and as soon as i read you comment that indeed my comment about max inside reaktor was utterly nonsense.. as reaktor at its base is its very own programming languag, just as max is...

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Teksonik
KVRAF
12465 posts since 16 Sep, 2001 from Las Vegas,USA

Re: A modular platform

Post Sat May 18, 2019 5:00 am

Reason...Rack Extensions ?
None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

imrae
KVRian
661 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Re: A modular platform

Post Sat May 18, 2019 5:16 am

Toets wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 3:05 am
as soon as i read you comment that indeed my comment about max inside reaktor was utterly nonsense.. as reaktor at its base is its very own programming languag, just as max is...
Well, in itself that's not a problem. Most programming languages are written/implemented using other programming languages, e.g. the standard Python interpreter is written in C. In principle you can implement any programming language in any other "complete" language. But Max and Reaktor aren't really intended for that sort of thing...

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lnikj
KVRAF
2005 posts since 23 May, 2005 from the North Cornwall coast

Re: A modular platform

Post Sat May 18, 2019 5:23 am

What would theoretically be easier would be cross store agreements. With Rack extensions, the Voltage Modular Store, the VCV Plugin Manager and now Native Instruments getting in on the act, it would be nice to purchase modules from devs that will work across multiple modulars. Prices would have to go up to cover the listing fees on each platform of course.

Chances of that happening in reality are not much above zero unfortunately.

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