Cherry Audio has released Voltage Module Designer, a companion development tool created to facilitate the development of modules for use in their Voltage Modular modular synthesis platform. Voltage Module Designer is an integrated development environment that is designed to simplify module layout, coding, testing, and publishing so that users can implement their module ideas and add them as working modules to their Voltage Modular library, or submit them for sale on the Cherry Audio store and Voltage Modular in-app store.
Mateusz Wozniak, Head of Development at PSPaudioware.com, states: "The Voltage Module Designer is the easiest tool for designing your own piece of music software that I have ever worked with. It combines an extremely easy visual development environment with the algorithmic flexibility of Java. I wish that doing plug-in prototypes in any format would be as easy as doing release versions in Module Designer."
Voltage Module Designer's GUI layout tools can allow users to create module layouts without having to write any code, just by dragging and dropping controls onto their module layouts. Available controls include jacks, knobs, sliders, buttons, and more, with a variety of pre-supplied skins, all vector based for alias-free scaling, and additional tools provided that allow users to import their own custom skins. Users with more specialized needs can add 'canvas' objects to their modules and render their own custom graphics elements and create their own custom controls.
Leonardo Ruiz of Vult, who has created many modules with Voltage Module Designer, adds, "Making a module look the way I want (for me) is more time consuming than developing the mathematical models behind it. Module Designer simplifies this task by providing immediate visual feedback and not requiring to write a line more of code."
Voltage Module Designer auto-generates nearly all GUI code and automatically handles mundane details like save/restore state and undo/redo for most pre-supplied controls, so users can concentrate on adding their signal-processing code in the module designer's built-in Java code editor. All module coding is done in Java. Voltage Module Designer includes a variety of pre-built signal processing APIs that users can take advantage of, including oscillators, filters, envelopes, sampler voice readers/processors, and more.
Voltage Module Designer includes an integrated debugger that lets users set breakpoints, inspect data values, and step through code. Test mode launches a custom Voltage Modular cabinet to which users can add other modules from their Voltage Modular library, so they can test how their modules interact with oscilloscopes, oscillators, LFOs, etc., without leaving the debugger.
Voltage Module Designer was designed so that its build process could create efficient cross-platform code without requiring in-depth platform expertise. Each module's Java code is compiled into highly optimized Java bytecode, and when a module is loaded, its Java bytecode is converted into native machine language using Cherry Audio's custom Hotspot virtual machine. This converted machine language is capable of being faster than compiled C++ code because it can be locally optimized for the capabilities of each individual user's specific processor on the fly.
Adding finished modules to Voltage Modular is as simple as launching the Publish dialog and clicking the 'publish' button. Users can also submit their modules for approval for sale in the Voltage Module Store, accessible from the Cherry Audio website and from within Voltage Modular. All modules built with Voltage Module Designer are automatically cross platform, so Windows users don't need to recompile their modules on a Mac or vice versa, and modules will work in Voltage Modular in all its supported formats, including VST, VST3, AU, Pro Tools AAX, and OS X/Windows standalone. Voltage Module Designer itself is a standalone application running on both Mac OS X and Windows.
Price: A Personal License for Voltage Module Designer is free, and allows users to create their own modules for personal use in Voltage Modular. A Commercial License for Voltage Module Designer is $99, and allows users to submit modules for sale in the Voltage Module Store.